Berry has seized the moment with Tigers

Berry has seized the moment with Tigers

BALTIMORE -- At no point during his first Major League season has Quintin Berry ever shied away from the moment.

Since making his debut on May 23, Berry has impressed Tigers manager Jim Leyland every step of the way, providing a consistent table setter at the top of the order and even coming through with an RBI single that looked like it might give the Tigers a win in the 13th inning on Saturday.

"He's seizing those opportunities in the moment right now," Leyland said. "He's handled it well."

"You want to be the guy that wants to get up there and have an opportunity to do something for your club," Berry said. "You want other people to know that you can be that guy. So I'm just trying to put a good swing on the ball when I get an opportunity."

Berry has done that often this season, posting a .297 batting average and .381 on-base percentage through his first 44 Major League games.

He boosted those totals with his 3-for-6 effort on Saturday, his sixth game with at least three hits.

No Tigers player has posted more three-or-more hit games in their first 44 career appearances since Pat Mullin had seven in 1941.

"He's been pretty darn consistent," Leyland said. "You've got to tip your hat to him. He's done one hell of a job. I like that extra dimension, speed, that he gives us.

"He's done a terrific job. He's stayed calm. He's prepared. He's been very impressive."

Berry started 2012 with Triple-A Toledo, his seventh season in the Minors. He got his first chance in the Majors when Austin Jackson went down with an abdominal strain in May, and he's been a fixture in the lineup ever since, leading the team with 12 steals.

Berry hit ninth for only the second time on Saturday, but was moved back up to second in the order, staring in left field, on Sunday.

"He's just been a real pleasant surprise for us," Leyland said. "I certainly didn't know much about him, but he's seizing that opportunity and taking advantage of it, and that's what you like to see. Those are great stories, guys that waited a long time to get their chance, get up here and take advantage of it. That's what it's all about."